[lug] off topic email question

Jeff Schroeder jeff at zingstudios.com
Wed Feb 27 20:57:07 MST 2008


> > Second, if I'm storing messages beyond the usual
> > deliver-and-download process, I incur a liability to
> > protect and manage that data.
> Would you be able to say more about how this works
> from a legal standpoint?  Is what you state true the
> minute you as an ISP start storing email outside of
> pop/imap delivery, meaning it's implicit liability?
> Or does a written contract have to explicitly state
> that you are liable?

IANAL so I don't know whether there's an implicit liability under the 
law; I was referring more to a social liability, as in "if I'm storing 
your private data, I'd better darn well be careful with it."

Of course, I'm storing it anyway-- albeit momentarily-- between the time 
it's written to disk by the MTA and the time the user downloads and 
deletes it.  I suppose there's some liability there too (social and 
perhaps legal) but part of the burden is on the customer to use a 
reasonable password to protect their own mail.

All in all I think there are a lot of interesting issues surrounding 
e-mail management and storage.  The White House fiasco is certainly 
bringing some of them into the limelight, and it'll be fun to see how 
it plays out.

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